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Fiona Banner on panel for Max Mara Art Prize for Women

March 12, 2010 by Ellie

Three artists have been shortlisted for the third Max Mara Art Prize for Women in collaboration with the Whitechapel Gallery. The judging panel, of which Iwona Blazwick, Director of the Whitechapel Gallery, is Chairwoman, includes artist Fiona Banner; gallerist Alison Jacques; art collector Valeria Napoleone; and art critic Polly Staple. The winner of the prize will be announced at Whitechapel Gallery on March 23rd, 2010.

The Max Mara Art Prize for Women was set up to promote and nurture female artists based in the United Kingdom, enabling artists to develop their potential and providing an opportunity for them to produce new works of art. The prize itself will result in a six month residency based in Italy. The work will then be offered to the Collezione Maramotti for acquisition and presented at the Whitechapel Gallery in an exhibition in Spring 2011.

The shortlisted artists are Becky Beasley, Andrea Büttner and Elizabeth Price.

Following a presentation from each of the shortlisted artists on their proposal for the commission, the winner will be announced in March 2010 and the project realised during a six month residency. The residency is divided into two locations. The first section will take place from 26 April 2010 at the American Academy in Rome and the second part at the Pistoletto Foundation in Biella.

The Maramotti family, owners of the Max Mara Fashion Group, are pre-eminent contemporary art collectors. The Max Mara Art Prize for Women is the first time the fashion house has established an arts prize in the UK and reflects the company’s strong association with art and women.

Dr. Luigi Maramotti said: “It is a great pleasure to once again be actively involved in such an undeniably important and varied prize. The strength of the prize almost certainly lies in the diversity of the shortlist. One only has to look at the shortlist to be reminded of the wealth of exciting and divergent female talents currently gaining prominence in the UK. I’d like to extend my gratitude to the judges whose hard work and enthusiasm has helped foster what is now an internationally renowned prize.”

Iwona Blazwick, Director of the Whitechapel Gallery, said: “This incredible art prize dedicated to women is tapping into the immense creative talent of female artists working in Britain today. The shortlist of 3 artists demonstrates the possibilities of art at the moment and a snapshot of contemporary art now. The offer of a six month residency in the city of Rome and in the countryside north of Turin in Italy gives one artist the opportunity to develop a major work of art that will be acquired by one of the most important collections in Italy.”